With traditional gender roles fading away throughout the decades, women are now working more than ever before. But despite women making up 45% of the workforce, they still represent only 15-20% of all insured incomes.

The underinsurance of female incomes is a big issue, particularly as women are far more financially vulnerable than men. Whilst the pay gap is still a major issue, income levels tell only part of the story. Women are more vulnerable than men for a few reasons; they typically spend less time in the workforce, they are more likely to take time off to look after children or elderly relatives, and they are more likely to retire early.

With women spending less time in the workforce and typically living longer than men, these accumulated setbacks can be extremely damaging in a financial sense over the long term. This means less savings, retiring with less superannuation and less of an ability to recover from financial setbacks.

With all of these factors against females, you’d expect more women would be taking out insurance to protect their income and their lifestyle. But this is simply not the case.

How can women adequately protect themselves?

Working women can avoid a temporary loss of income due to sickness or injury through income protection, which typically covers up to 80% of your income.

With an alarming 1 in 4 chance of being diagnosed with cancer by the age of 75, you need the protection against unforeseen diseases. Trauma insurance pays a lump sum on diagnosis, helping you replace your income and cover the medical costs associated with treatment.

If you die or become seriously disabled, would you be able to cover your familys’ lifestyle and a mortgage? Life and/or Total and Permanent Disability (TPD) insurance provides a lump sum to you or your beneficiaries if you die or are seriously disabled.

You can also cover your fixed business expenses if you can’t work temporarily due to sickness or injury, which is extremely useful for those that run a business or are self-employed. This could include the cost of finding a replacement if you need one.

How much does it actually cost?

Take the example of a 35-year old female teacher who earns $60,000 pa. She takes out:

  • a Life policy to cover her mortgage of $500,000, and
  • an extra $250,000 in Recovery Cover.

Her total premium is $802.68. At around $15 per week, that’s the equivalent of one take-away meal each week.

Source: Asteron Life Limited, based on a non-smoker taking out Life Cover and Recovery Plus, both with stepped premiums paid annually.

With the estimate of lost productivity and out-of-pocket expenses equalling approximately $40,000 for a woman with breast cancer, it’s easy to see the benefits of insurance. This really puts the cost of insurance into perspective.

Strategies to make insurance more affordable

A financial adviser uses a number of strategies to make your insurance premium cost effective. The best way to find out what type and how much cover you need is to speak to a financial adviser before taking out insurance.

Worried that you’re not fully protected? Talk to an adviser at MG Financial Services today on
03 9523 6500 or email